Today I thought I’d speak a bit about admiration. I will speak a bit about the person I admire most and then go on to tell you how you can and should admire yourself.
It seems that admiring yourself equates to an inflated ego and I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Admiring yourself means embracing who you are – ALL OF YOU.
There’s no shame in loving your skills, your characteristics, your personality, your looks. These make up who you are.
Society has taught us that admiring our skills means we’re arrogant, cocky and full of ourselves. For some this is the case, but these are people whose ego’s rule over them and they fail to notice the value of other people and place themselves above others. For others it means giving ourselves a sense of confidence, self-value and most importantly self-love.
Think about the traits and qualities you admire most in the people you love. What do they say about you? If the negative traits we project onto other people are telling us something about ourselves, then it makes sense that the positive traits we admire in others also tell us something about ourselves. Is there a trait you see in your mother that you wish you had? You probably do have this trait, but something is holding you back from experiencing that positivity.
It’s important to admire yourself because it will increase your self-esteem. I’m sure all of you have gone through some tough times in your life and through those times I expect you felt overwhelmed and questioned whether you had the strength and courage to make it through.
Look at yourself now – YOU MADE IT! 😀
You are allowed to feel proud (and relieved) that you overcame the obstacles and found how much you’re able to endure and still come out the other side.
Beware: there is a difference between admiring yourself and becoming conceited. It’s ok to think “I’m a fantastic person”, “I’m strong”, “I’m self-sufficient”, “I’m worthy and deserving of good fortune”, “I am loving”, but one must be careful not to disregard other people or look down on them. As the saying goes “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson. While you know you’re a strong, excellent, loving person, it’s important that you remain empathetic towards others and help them realise the love within themselves and help them view their life in a positive light.
Who I admire
The person I admire the most is my Nan. She’s been through some very difficult times and has always found a way to remain positive and to take the best from the situation. She’s a very strong lady, and like most Nan’s she’s a force to be reckoned with! She’s probably been the most definitive force of positivity in my life. She’s a very fair person, and has always been supportive, caring and kind about whatever is going in my life, and indeed other people’s lives.
Some other qualities I admire in my Nan are:
- She’s opinionated and will stand her ground especially where personal injustices are concerned.
- She’s an excellent listener and is a calming person to be around. If there’s an emergency my Nan is definitely who you want around!
- She is incredibly patient.
- Her house is probably the best place ever! There is always good food, it’s cosy, it’s fun and it’s such a calming, positive atmosphere. My Nan’s house has always been a safe oasis for my mind.
- She’s family orientated.
- She wants the best for everyone and always put other people first.
- She loves the simple things in life: a bit of coffee and cake and excellent company suits her fine.
- She doesn’t see much point in looking back to the past because it’s already happened and there’s nothing you can do to change it. All you can do is try your best now.
How to Admire Yourself
It can be very hard to find some aspects of yourself that you admire, but it’s even harder accepting that you can admire yourself. Like I said above, there’s no shame in doing so and it’s something you should do.
You have to be willing to take a full look at yourself – even the negative traits. This will allow you to work on improving the positive and become mindful of when you’re projecting the negative aspects of yourself. Don’t be afraid of facing the negative parts of yourself because these will help you discover the positive. It’s about knowing when you’re negative and changing the thought pattern to a positive one.
This means being aware of yourself and how your thoughts and actions affect your life and the world. If we’re creators then that means every single second of the day we’re creating our lives by the thoughts we have. What kind of thoughts do you have?
An excellent exercise for this is to meditate on yourself. Observe your thoughts and watch them drift by and take note of the pattern they take. Are they negative? Are they condescending? Do they allow room for positive thoughts? By learning to observe your thoughts you’re allowing yourself to recognise when particular thought patterns occur, and once you know that you can start changing their pathway to a more fulfilling, positive and loving one.
Changing Your Thoughts
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~ Wayne Dyer
When you notice a self-defeating thought like “Mary is so much better at the job than I am” then you need to notice what made the thought occur in the first place, and be aware of the qualities you bring to the table. For example, Mary may seem better at the job than you, but does she have the problem-solving skills you have? You and Mary each bring a set of skills to the job that without either of you wouldn’t be achieved as successfully if there were one of you. Your skills work in cooperation with each other.
It’s about recognising when a negative thought occurs and changing it to be a positive one. An exercise that may be particularly useful here is using affirmations. For example instead of thinking “I’m no good and they probably gave me the job because there was no-one else”, you change that thought to “I am an excellent person and I deserve this job because I have excellent analytical/communicational/people skills”.
If you have low self-esteem, look in the mirror at say “I am beautiful. I have all the necessary skills to lead a happy and fulfilling life”. Say it as many times as you can, and if a negative thought appears, let it drift by and say your affirmation (feel free to make up your own affirmation!)
Changing your thoughts is a habitual behaviour. You must make it a habit to actively change the negative thoughts into positive ones so they become deeply engrained in your brain, and soon enough a positive thought will pop up before the negative!
CHOOSE to Admire the Qualities Within You.
They’re there for a reason: to be used! To help you overcome challenges and obstacles, and to help you grow. You deserve to admire yourself! After all, no-one but you has got yourself this far! That in itself is admirable! Pat yourself on the back!
This may take some courage, but I can assure you, you have probably endured much worse. Have the courage to admire yourself. If you think the image of yourself you have portrayed to the world doesn’t fit in with certain societal “requirements” then boldly step up and show the world who you really are. This doesn’t have to be done in one fell swoop. It can be done gradually. Integrate aspects of yourself that you really love into everyday life.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr Seuss.
It’s important that you choose to admire yourself because otherwise the exercises won’t stick. It’s like the parent who gives up smoking because their child has asked them to and not because they really want to – they end up sneaking a smoke out the back when they can because the desire to stop isn’t theirs. It has to be done for you and because you want to.
Each act contributes; like drops of rainwater gradually making a puddle, that puddle becoming a river and the river flowing out to become a part of the ocean. No act is ‘small’ or ‘large’. They all count.
Here’s a short exercise I found online if anyone wants to give it a go. It’s called Love and Admire Me and it’s a short worksheet that asks you think of your positive qualities and write down all the times you’ve displayed them.
Remember that the most important thing here is to be absolutely yourself and to admire being YOU.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde.
Be happy. Be you.